Croatia 0-1 Portugal (aet)
Turkey 0-0 Russia
Kick Off: 19:45, 05/09/2016
Stadium: Stadion Maksimir (Zagreb)
Head-to-head: Turkey 0-1 Croatia, Croatia 0-0 Turkey, Turkey 0-3 Croatia, Croatia 1-1 Turkey (aet), Croatia 2-2 Turkey
Croatia: Ivan Vargić (Lazio), Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk Split),Šime Vrsaljko (Atlético Madrid), Ivan Strinić (Napoli), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kyiv), Ivan Perisic (Internazionale), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozovic (Internazionale), Marko Rog (Napoli), Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Nikola Kalinic (Fioretina), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Marko Pjaca (Juventus), Duje Cop (Sporting Gijon).
Turkey: Volkan Babacan (Istanbul Basaksehir), Onur Kivrak (Trabzonspor), Harun Tekin (Bursaspor), Sener Ozbayrakli (Fenerbahce), Ismail Koybasi (Fenerbahce), Serdar Aziz (Galatasary), Hasan Ali Kaldirim (Fenerbahce), Ahmet Yilmaz Cilik (Genclerbirligi), Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Caglar Soyuncu (Freiburg), Ahmet Oguz (Genclerbirligi), Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund), Okay Yokuslu (Trabzonspor), Olcay Sahan (Besiktas), Salih Ucan (Fenerbahce), Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Gokhan Tore (West Ham), Mehmet Topal (Fenerbahce), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahce), Irfan Can Kahveci (Geclerbirligi), Yunus Malli (Mainz), Volkan Sen (Fenerbahce), Emre Mor (Borussia Dortmund), Cengiz Under (Istanbul Basaksehir), Tolga Cigerci (Galatasaray), Cenk Tosun (Besiktas), Enes Unal (FC Twente)
* Under 2.5 goals @ 31/50
* Croatia to win to nil @ 23/20
* Ivan Perisic to score and Croatia to win @ 6/4
* Five of the seven past meetings between Croatia and Turkey have seen two goals or less, including their most recent clash at Euro 2016 earlier this year.
* The Croats have kept nine clean sheets in their last 12 home games, winning on every occasion.
* Ivan Perisic has scored in three of his last five outings for Croatia and was their top scorer in qualifying for Euro 2016.
A look at Croatia’s betting odds
The Croatia v Turkey odds make Ante Cacic’s men just 11/20 for victory in their opening World Cup qualifying Group I encounter, thanks to a cocktail of factors.
Namely, Vatreni’s heartening showing at Euro 2016 (where they bested the Turks 1-0 in a match they should have won by a wider margin) and the subsequent bad atmosphere around the Turkey camp that has led to coach Fatih Terim ditching several senior players, Barcelona’s Arda Turan among them, for younger, less experienced replacements.
Against a side with a such a formidable home record, both in terms of winning and keeping clean sheets, betting the 23/20 about the Croatia win to nil looks a prime way in which to extract a better price about the hosts taking advantage of their visitors being at a low ebb.
Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic, mystifyingly unharrassed by potential summer suitors after a stellar showing at Euro 2016 is most likely to secure the breakthrough, having netted in three of his last five internationals. His anytime scorer odds are 7/5, while it’s a fraction bigger that he nets as part of a Croatia win (6/4).
A look at Turkey’s betting odds
There was no epic vindication for Turkey manager Terim’s decision to ditch some more established names in the 0-0 draw with fellow Euro 2016 disappointments Russia that served as their warm up to this fixture.
However, the result did highlight that he knows how to set up a team capable of grinding their way to respectable results. Only one of their seven past meetings with the Croats has seen them felled by more than a single strike, hinting that the under 2.5 goals betting odds of 31/50 could be there for the taking in Zagreb.
Betting them in this particular instance is further evidenced by seven of their last nine competitive internationals having served up two or fewer.